On Thursday June 29, 2017, 20-year-old Saint Lucian, Ajani Lebourne, received the Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace. The Queen presented medals to inspirational young leaders from around the Commonwealth in the special ceremony to recognize the work they do in their local communities. Prince Harry gave a speech praising the young people and congratulated them on their achievements.
Ajani was been chosen for the award in recognition of his work to empower students to have their interests represented at the local and national levels.
He is the immediate past President of the Saint Lucia students Council and a graduate of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. In 2016, he spearheaded a Leadership Symposium for student councils, which enabled 50 students to learn about democracy and public speaking. Ajani has as one of his major aspirations, to create a National Students’ Centre, which he hopes will become the headquarters for the Saint Lucia National Students’ Council.
The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards programme, now in its third and penultimate year, celebrates the achievements of some of the most exciting young change-makers from across the Commonwealth, who are all dedicated to transforming lives in their communities. From tackling bullying head-on in schools, to preserving the environment, to promoting gender equality, these young people are taking the lead in driving change in their communities.
Guests including Sir Mo Farah, Liam Payne, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Anita Rani and former UK Prime Minister and Chairman of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Sir John Major, joined the latest cohort of Queen’s Young Leaders at Buckingham Palace to congratulate them on their remarkable achievements.
The celebrations continued after the ceremony at Australia House in London, where the Award Winners, guests including Australian comedian and presenter, Adam Hills, and Prince Harry came together to help launch the search for the final Queen’s Young Leaders.
Speaking at the ceremony, HRH Prince Harry said: “At home and abroad, I see people – especially young people – doing incredible things…They are creative and innovative, and most importantly, they are committed to making the world a better, more optimistic, and compassionate place. That’s why I am honoured to welcome this year’s award winners here tonight. The Queen’s Young Leaders award recognises what these incredible young people have achieved – not for themselves, but for others – for their peers, for their communities, for their environment, and for those less fortunate.”
As part of the Awards programme, Queen’s Young Leaders, including Saint Lucia’s Ajani Lebourne, gain unique access to training, mentoring and networking designed to improve their leadership skills. Ahead of receiving their Award from The Queen, this year’s Award Winners attended a reception at 10 Downing Street, visited UK headquarters of global social media company Facebook, and met with senior executives at the BBC World Service. They also met the Commonwealth Secretary-General, took part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, had meetings with UK business leaders, and visited projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.
The Queen’s Young Leaders programme was established in 2014 to help talented young leaders to realise their potential and achieve even greater success in the future that will benefit people’s lives across the Commonwealth for generations to come.
He returns home today, Saturday July 1, 2017 on British Airways flight BA2159 arriving at Hewanorra International airport at 1:50 PM. The family invites the media, friends and members of the public to join in welcoming Ajani back home.
Ajani Lebourne can bee seen receiving his award at time 25:24.